Mount Morrison, North Face, High Sierra. Mount Morrison, visible from Convict Lake and Highway 395, has presented its spectacular and unclimbed north face for many years without attracting many serious climbing attempts. On May 28 Charlie Raymond and I climbed the face in twelve hours, beginning from a campsite in the hanging valley at the mountain’s base. The route starts in the middle of a squat, black hunk of rock. We climbed generally straight up, tending right where the black rock turns grey. Traversing down and left (5.8) to avoid a clean, sharp dihedral, we soon reached an easier broken area. The climbing continued up broken rock to the base of “California,” a white section shaped like the state and visible from the hanging valley below. At that point, the imposing wall above forced us left over a friction traverse to an exposed corner. Charlie’s lead took us nearly to the prow of the north buttress, where we rapidly climbed toward a gold-colored chute above. The chute took us to a steep headwall and finally a thin ridge, which led to the summit. The first pitch is devious and difficult, but after the first four pitches are done the climbing is never more than 5.6. (V, 5.8).
Thomas J. Higgins